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Story by UPI

The international community should boycott oil from Saudi Arabia to rob the government in Riyadh of the will to keep fighting in Yemen, Iranian media said.

Saudi Arabia in late March announced the start of a pan-Arab military offensive in Yemen dubbed Operation Decisive Storm. Riyadh said the offensive was meant to defend the government in Sanaa and to “prevent the Houthi militias from controlling the country by force.”

The operation pit Saudi Arabia, a Sunni-led country, against Shiite Iran, which is said to be backing the Houthi militia.

An op-ed from the semi-official Fars News Agency in Iran called for the boycott of Saudi oil to protest the offensive “to drain [Saudi] military capacities, financial reserves and political will” in Yemen. The piece adds civilians in Yemen are dying so multinational companies “can lay siege to remaining oil reserves in the Arabian Peninsula.”

The International Community of the Red Cross said it plans to deliver aid to war-torn Yemen later this week. Two brothers working for the group were shot dead last week in Yemen while trying to evacuate the wounded from the port city of Aden.

Yemen is a minor regional oil producer. Production peaked in 2001 with an estimated 440,000 barrels per day, less than half of what’s produced currently from North Dakota shale

In November, Norwegian energy company DNO International declared force majeure in Yemen, meaning it was freed from contractual obligations because of circumstances beyond its control, out of security concerns. In late March, the company stopped work altogether in Yemen because of the tense security situation.

Fars described allegations against Iran as “bogus.”